Well, after about 6 months of testing I have received approval to replace the phone system at 6 out of 7 of our branch offices.
As I’ve said in other posts I am not a telephone person. I’m the IT guy so a lot of the telephony stuff has been new to me. So, yes this is going to be an adventure.
All of our branch offices have between 6-10 standard business lines as well as fax line and high speed internet. Also most offices have between 10-15 extensions, all with voice mail. Each location uses it’s own IVR system or Auto Attendant.
So, I thought for anyone who was interested I would keep a running log of my progress and the steps in which I’m going to implement.
The systems will use dundi for least cost routing, parking lot, queues and conference rooms.
I will keep you posted.
So Good luck, it is a really nice experience. Don’t forget to keep us updated.
Thanks, I will keep a running log on my progress.
Right now I’m sourcing equipment. I’m leaning towards a FreePBX server as opposed to building my own. Also, still looking at replacing my current phones with true IP Phones or getting a Portico™ Telephone VoIP Adapter (TVA™) and keeping the current phones.
It all comes down to the best bang for my buck. I should have the hardware answers in the next week. Then the real fun begins.
Sourcing hardware. Everybody has there own considerations and needs so you’ll possible get a 100 different recommendations.
So I’ll start but keep it general. Get real phones and NOT ata’s. It’s just once more piece of equipment that can have issues. I’d recommend a real VOIP phone and don’t go low budget as you’ll get what you pay for. IF you have sales people they will want something that has a good feal and weight to it.
As for server equipment that is your call. We sent Dell, But then again we have 150+ server class machines so I just took one model and built a test box on it first to be sure it works. Once I had it working I ordered a new one with some minor differances (dual drives so that I can duplicate the drive once a week and recover if need be), but my big reason was I have 18 identical units in our computer room. So at anything I can take one of those down for a day if need be and steal any part out of it to make the phone work again. Having our QA or Engineering department be short a system for a day is better then having no phone service for the whole company.
If you have not tested phones out yet try and find a provider who will work with you. We used one out of Chicago who allowed us 30 days of try before you buy. It was great we had 8 different phones, and allowed people to come down and talk and play with then. They ranked them as to how they liked them, We then looked at support and pricing for each and had management make the decision on which groups we recommended. Everybody was very happy in the end.
I started this post back in October. It’s now Mid April and I think I have finally sourced out the equipment to use. The money crunchers wanted to use some Softphones to save money. That took some tooth pulling to show them why it was not the ideal way to go. I think I have looked at almost every IP phone on the market, WOW they do very.
The project will be starting in the next few weeks. I think I have speced a system that will be cost effective with the best quaility that my budget will allow.
For servers I will be using Dell. My reasoning is we have been purchasing Dell for the last 5 years and have had no major issues. I can get parts from them in 24-48 hours. And as mentioned in the previous post I can steal from other servers if I need somthing in a hurry.
The servers will be Core 2 Duo E8200 procs with dual drives and I think dual 1-gig nic cards.
The telephony cards will be Sangoma A200 cards with hard ware echo cancellation.
For the phones I have decided on the Aastra 57i.
I still how to figure out how the dual nic cards will come into play as everything will be behind a firewall. I’m thinking I would use one to go to the switch that the phones are attached to on one sub net and the other to go to our switch leading outside on another sub net. I’m not sure yet.
Obviously I will be using FreePBX as I have tried both Trixbox, PBX in a Flash as well as AsteriskNow. Trixbox has some neat stuff like hud-lite and the config editor, however I have read some posts about why FreePbx does not have a config editor and it makes perfect sense to me especially since 5 of the systems will be off site from me.
I will keep you posted.
Have you considered attending the FreePBX training? It is a real good way to get further up to speed and will make your deployment go a lot smoother.
I have. I’ve sent a request to the powers that be. I still have not been told if I can go.
I’m pleased that there has been a new registration option. I was not terbily interested in the sales part.
I will let you know how I make out. Never been to Vegas before!!!
I have been 3 times before, and this will be the 4th for OTTS, and also going back in August to get remarried! It is a long way to go from Australia, but well worth it.
You said you are not terribly interested in sales, but you also said “The money crunchers wanted to use some Softphones to save money. That took some tooth pulling to show them why it was not the ideal way to go.”
Maybe with the sales training as well, it would give you a lot more info to use to convince the “money crunchers”…